The sociologist as DJ
Now that he's back on Tongatapu, though, the man locals call Maikolo is spending Wednesday evenings as a DJ on the state-owned FM broadcaster Tonga One, where he presents a classical music show sponsored by the Vava'u Academy, a thinktank he co-founded with the 'Atenisi graduate Dr 'Okusi Mahina.
When Maikolo came over for dinner the other night, I lobbied hard for the inclusion of my favourite pieces of music in his show. He repeatedly refused, though, to promise to play John Adams or Steve Reich or any other of the minimalist composers I favour. "It was hard enough for me to get this show" he said. "And if I play that stuff there'll be outrage. I'm sticking to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto". I tried to explain to Maikolo that I'm no classical music snob, and that I enjoy the trance-like music of Reich and Adams and other minimalists because it is intended as a populist reaction against the elitism and hyper-intellectualism of avant-garde atonal mid-century composers. Maikolo was not interested in my protestations. "I might let you guest DJ one night" he said, "and then it'll be on your head".
Even if you live outside the Friendly Islands, you can listen to DJ Horowitz tonight on Tonga One by going to this page and following the link.
Maikolo is no stranger to the radio industry. During a sojourn in native America in the mid-noughties, he worked for the liberal radio network KBOO, presenting well-researched programmes on everything from America's neo-fascist Christian Reconstructionist movement to political affairs in the Pacific. As one would expect, Tonga was a recurring subject of Horowitz's work for HBOO. Here's a link to a programme the sociologist made in the aftermath of the riots that destroyed a third of central Nuku'alofa in November 2006. You can use the search engine on HBOO's homepage to find more of Horowitz's programmes.
[Posted by Scott Hamilton]